Pring 11 ~ Sassafras Forest

Pring notes some of the many potential applications of the New England forests

<< BEFORE: Pring’s men plant their own gardens …

From the JOURNAL OF MARTIN PRING (1603):

NEXT: Notes on the beasts >>

By “us”, Pring means himself and the crews of his two ships.  As their stay at this site extended over seven weeks or more (according to the journals), they must have made quite an impact on the local economy (read, “environment”)!

Syphilis was one of Europe’s first imports from the Americas; Christopher Columbus‘s sailors brought it back from their adventures on Hispaniola.  Europeans considered sassafras to be an effective treatment of the terrible disease, and this marketability motivates Pring’s business-minded expedition to strip the forests all around while filling their ships with all the sassafras they find.

And what do the natives think of all this?  Stay tuned…

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